Nurse with a red smiling heart in her hands.

For many active adults, the availability and accessibility of high-quality health care is a top priority when planning for retirement.

When planning for retirement, one of the most important factors for many active adults is the availability and accessibility of high-quality health care. Whether retiring in their home state or across the country, most homebuyers seek nearby hospitals and medical centers that provide superior senior health care.

A few research agencies, such as U.S. News & World Report and Kiplinger, provide statistics about health care that active adults can use to help them decide where to retire. Another resource, the Healthgrades National Health Index, ranks cities on health factors such as quality of hospitals, accessibility of care, availability of local specialists, and overall population health. 

We coupled those rankings with a consideration of other valuable retirement factors, such as affordability, quality of life, things to do, and nearby active adult communities. This helped us determine some of the best places to retire to facilitate senior health.

No matter where you might want to retire across the nation, this list can provide a better idea about some of the country’s best health care options. From east to west, here are eight of the best places to retire for health care. 

Hartford, Connecticut

Those who dream of a New England retirement can also find some of the nation’s best health care in Hartford, Connecticut. The state ranks third in the country for overall access to health care. 

This historic capital city is home to Hartford Hospital, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, and UConn Health. With major hospitals and health centers throughout the state, residents almost always find themselves within reach of award-winning medical care.

Throughout the four distinct seasons, residents tend to stay active, making the population one of the healthiest in the country. Active adults can walk and bike through the downtown area which is known for its well-preserved architecture, historic attractions, and the Park River. For a day at the beach, the Atlantic Coast is only about 40 minutes away. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ever since Benjamin Franklin co-founded the country’s first public hospital in Philadelphia in 1751, the city has continued to uphold high standards of health care. The area’s hospitals rank well for overall quality and abundance of local specialists. 

Some of the best local health care facilities include Temple University Hospital, Jefferson Frankfort Hospital, and Einstein Medical Center. Also, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Penn Medicine ranks highly for specialties such as diabetes and endocrinology, cardiology and heart surgery, and cancer treatment. 

In addition to quality health care, residents can pursue an active lifestyle by exploring nearby states such as Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York. The surrounding small towns offer a more affordable and laid-back lifestyle. 

Williamsburg, Virginia

Located less than one hour from Richmond and Virginia Beach, the city of Williamsburg boasts first-class health care. Since nearby Richmond also offers a top-ranked selection of hospitals, most residents can stay in the state for the medical care they need.

The best hospitals in Williamsburg include Riverside Doctors’ Hospital of Williamsburg and Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center, which has earned a superior performance rating for care of COPD, heart failure, and hip replacements. 

In addition to tax-friendliness, the state offers affordable housing options and active adult communities, such as the 55+ golf community Colonial Heritage and the expansive, amenity-rich Ford’s Colony

Cultural attractions include the scenic Colonial Parkway, Prince George Street, and the Muscarelle Museum of Art. At William and Mary, the country’s second-oldest university, 60+ retirees can audit some classes for free

Charleston, South Carolina 

The Healthgrades National Health Index named Charleston, South Carolina the #1 medium-sized city and the #3 overall city for health care. The city’s hospitals host highly rated specialists and consistently earn superior clinical outcomes.

Residents enjoy easy access to hospitals such as MUSC Medical Center, Roper Hospital, and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital. Due to the humid subtropical climate, winters stay mild for a comfortable year-round climate, which means no more harsh winters for Midwestern retirees. 

As a coastal city, residents have abundant opportunities to enjoy the surrounding rivers and the Atlantic Ocean. With several beaches less than 20 minutes away, active adults can boat, fish, canoe, swim, and sunbathe at their leisure. The area’s low-maintenance active adult communities can help make a laid-back lifestyle even more accessible. 

Jacksonville, Florida 

With 22 miles of white sand beaches, Jacksonville matches many retirees’ image of a Florida retirement. Waterways, rivers, and the Atlantic Ocean offer an abundance of outdoor recreation, from boating to fishing to parasailing.

In Jacksonville, retirees can enjoy an active retirement alongside some of the Sunshine State’s best healthcare options, including Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, and UF Health Jacksonville.

In addition to a coastal landscape that makes staying active convenient and fun, there are many active adult communities where residents can live a low-maintenance lifestyle. This allows retirees to have more free time to pursue their hobbies. 

Naples, Florida

Another place to retire in Florida near health care is Naples, located south of the Fort Myers-Cape Coral area. The area is a coastal oasis for those who enjoy sport fishing, boating, golfing, and festivals.

The area features both NCH Baker and NCH North Naples hospital, which means that top-quality care is often within reach. There are also two Physicians Regional facilities and more than twelve Healthcare Network of South Florida centers.

Nearby Fort Myers offers HealthPark Medical Center and Lee Memorial Hospital, which have both previously received America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for Clinical Excellence Emergency Medicine. These hospitals scored exceptionally well for treating heart attacks, heart failure, respiratory failure, and COPD.

Austin, Texas

Some of the most popular active adult communities in Texas are located in the Austin-Georgetown area in the heart of Texas Hill Country. These sought-after resort-style 55+ communities include Sun City Texas, Kissing Tree, and Heritage at Vizcaya.

Texas retirees can experience an amenity-rich lifestyle in close proximity to Downtown Austin. This up-and-coming city boasts so much to enjoy, like top-notch live music, farm-to-table restaurants, and scenic parks and lakes.

Some of the highest performing hospitals include Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin, St. David’s Medical Center, Arise Austin, Heart Hospital, and Northwest Hills Surgical.

Mesa, Arizona

Low humidity, clear skies, and clean air all characterize the warm, desert climate of Mesa, Arizona. The dry heat and steady barometric pressure help make the Grand Canyon State one of the best places to retire for those with joint pain or arthritis

With many hospitals and medical centers throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area, retirees can find their dream home and still live near top medical care. Some of the top care centers in Mesa include Dignity Health Arizona Hospital, Mountain Vista Medical Center, Allegiant Health Care of Mesa, and Adelante Healthcare Mesa

Active adults have plenty of reasons to retire in Arizona. For baseball fans, the Cactus League brings some of the country’s best teams to the area. For nature lovers, the Grand Canyon is just a day trip away. And for affordable retirement, there are plenty of low-priced active adult communities, plus the added benefit of low tax rates and no tax on Social Security benefits.